ATLANTA (AP) — Jada Boyd scored a career-high 26 points, Jakia Brown-Turner added 19 and No. 3 North Carolina State cruised to an 84-75 victory over Georgia Tech on Thursday night.
Kayla Jones finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds for N.C. State (9-0, 4-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which used a strong second quarter and outscoring the Yellow Jackets 28-12 to pull away.
Lotta-Maj Lahtinen scored a career-high 30 points to lead Georgia Tech (4-2, 2-1), which also got 15 points from Lorela Cubaj. The Yellow Jackets outscored the Wolfpack 50-30 in the second half, but were never in the game.
Georgia Tech pulled within 15 late in the third, but Brown-Turner blew past Sarah Bates in the lane for a layup that made it 59-42. Boyd followed with a reverse layup and a straightaway jumper to make it 63-43.
The Wolfpack, who led throughout, took their first 20-point lead on Jones’ 3 from the left wing early in the second. Brown-Turner hit a left-handed layup to make it 39-15 and end a 10-0 run before Cunane grabbed a rebound and scored on a layup to make it a 26-point lead.
N.C. State was up 29 at halftime — its largest lead of the game — and shot 71% in the first quarter to lead 26-13 at the end of the period after consecutive baskets by Boyd in the final minute. The Wolfpack took their first double-digit lead on Boyd’s runner from the right baseline.
Boyd, a reserve wing, hit an athletic turnaround jumper in the lane to make it 73-50 with 7:56 remaining. Her pair of free throws kept the lead at 23 on the next possession.
N.C. State: Played a flawless first half, outrebounding the Yellow Jackets 24-13 and winning points in the paint 24-14. Off to their third straight 9-0 start to a season, the Wolfpack were so dominant that they overcame Kai Crutchfield’s scoreless night. Crutchfield, who began the night averaging 9.5 points, fouled out late in the third. … Boyd’s previous career high was 18 against North Carolina-Central in November 2019. … Elissa Cunane, who began the game leading the Wolfpack with averages of 15.9 points and 7.9 rebounds, finished with 11 points and four boards.
Georgia Tech: The score didn’t indicate it, but the Yellow Jackets looked hapless at times with no solution for N.C. State’s man and zone defenses. Point guard Loyal McQueen, an ACC freshman of the week earlier this month, sat out for undisclosed reasons. Even with a 16-3 run to begin the third, the Yellow Jackets trailed by 15. They pulled within single digits in the final minute. … Lahtinen’s previous career high was 27 against Boston College Dec. 9.